“He couldn’t recognize me as his wife.”

Bethany had noticed that her husband’s condition was declining. Samuel was much more confused than he’d been before, and his word-finding abilities were getting worse. He had an Alzheimer’s diagnosis and was being followed by both a psychiatrist and a geriatrician, which was helpful. Still, it didn’t seem like the disease had progressed that quickly—until theyContinue reading ““He couldn’t recognize me as his wife.””

The man who mistook his wife for…another woman

“You’d better let me in her room,” Bill said sternly to the nurse outside the door. “That’s my wife in there.” The nurse was giving Bill a hard time. “That’s not your wife,” she argued back. Of course, this made Bill even more angry. “How would you know what my wife looks like!” he demanded. Indeed, that wasContinue reading “The man who mistook his wife for…another woman”

A Tough Conversation

Usually, when a visitor to our community tries to “correct” one of my residents, I jump in and try to save the conversation. For example, if a resident’s daughter is visiting and says, “No, mom, don’t you remember, dad died years ago!” I will try to swoop in and change the interaction so that no oneContinue reading “A Tough Conversation”

An Imaginary Marriage

“Henry! Get your keys, we gotta go!” “I can’t find my keys, Irene! Where did you put them!” “I didn’t put your keys anywhere! Where did you lose them!” They argued like a married couple, but they were not actually married. Jeff and Ellen were two of my residents who believed that they had beenContinue reading “An Imaginary Marriage”

Read The Signs.

“Mike’s Auto Shop. Krispy Kreme Donuts, hot donuts. Sears,” she said. Vera* was reading every single sign we passed on the road. Vera’s dementia has progressed since I first met her, but, for the most part, is still able to carry on lengthy conversations and tell coherent, interesting stories. Her short-term memory is pretty damagedContinue reading “Read The Signs.”

Lewy Body.

I recently had a resident’s husband come up to me and ask about moving his wife to another room. “I think Bethany* should be in her own room, not sharing one,” he said. “Why’s that?” I asked. “Is she not getting along with her roommate?” “No, it’s not that…it’s just that, well, she’s seeing things.Continue reading “Lewy Body.”

I’m going home now.

Many of our residents receive visitors on a regular basis. It’s nice to see them interact with daughters, sons, grandchildren, and even spouses. The trouble occurs when family members don’t know how to say goodbye when the visit ends. I’ve watched numerous family members (especially spouses) say to their loved one, “Okay, I’m going home.”Continue reading “I’m going home now.”

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